About this artwork

'Sabine' comes from a series of four paintings entitled 'Shift' that Watt showed in an exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2000. She was inspired by the sensuous nature of the fabric that features in Ingres's paintings of women. Watt found a way of representing the body using the shapes created in fabric, focusing on the suggestive power of material. In this monumental painting, the meticulously painted folds and creases of the fabric evoke the human figure and create a sense of rhythm and movement.

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  • title: Sabine
  • accession number: GMA 4353
  • artist: Alison WattScottish (born 1965)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Emotions
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 2000
  • measurements: 213.50 x 213.50 cm
  • credit line: Purchased (Knapping Fund) 2001
  • copyright: © Alison Watt
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Alison Watt

Alison Watt

Watt was born in Greenock and studied at Glasgow School of Art. She first came to prominence when, still a student, she won a national portrait competition organised by the National Portrait Gallery in London. Watt subsequently became known for her paintings of figures, often female nudes, in light-filled rooms. This led on to a series of works exploring the properties of fabric. In 2000 she became one of the youngest artists to have a solo exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Watt participated in the 2010 exhibition Autoritratte at the Sala delle Reali Poste in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy, which brought together female self-portraits from the sixteenth century to today. She was Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London in 2006–8. In 2008 she was awarded an OBE.